Deep freeze in Summit County – and not much snow | VailDaily.com
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Deep freeze in Summit County – and not much snow

Julie Sutor
Summit Daily News
Summit Daily/Mark FoxGary Lunsky checks on the snowmaking process at the Frisco Nordic Center Wednesday morning. The center has been blasting out snow the past couple days with plans to start spreading it around on Friday. The Nordic Center would like to have a small loop ready to go by next week with hopes of having natural snow to cover the trails very soon.
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FRISCO – The latest winter storm left Summit County out in the cold. Southern parts of the state measured snow totals in feet, while local ski areas reported only about 3 inches of accumulation from the storm.

“This was a whopping storm coming off the Pacific,” said state climatologist Nolan Doesken. “But it came in from the southwest, and a number of good mountain ranges snitched all your snow.”

By the time the front reached Summit, all it had left was wind and bitter cold, with temperatures hovering around 0 degrees.

Even so, Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain each reported 3 inches of new snow Wednesday; Keystone and Breckenridge reported 2. More fortunate was Wolf Creek down south, which received 49 inches of new snow during the previous three days.

Although precipitation was in short supply, the cold helped local ski areas make some of their own.

“These cold temperatures have been ideal for snowmaking,” said Breckenridge Ski Resort spokesman Ryan Whaley.

Breckenridge opens Peak 7 today, and the Frisco Nordic Center plans to have a track and activities open for Nordic skiers this weekend.

“We are snowmaking 24 hours a day,” said Frisco Nordic Center operator Therese Dayton. “We are making ‘Mount Frisco’ behind the Nordic Center.”

Dayton advised against using other areas at the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area, due to lack of coverage.

“The sledding hill needs some natural snow. Everyone’s looking for places to go sledding, but they should really wait till the official opening,” Dayton said.

Forecasters expect the cold to linger until the weekend, as light snow showers continue.

“You’re not out of the woods yet,” Doesken said. “It’s not likely to get into the 20s till Saturday and Sunday. After that, next week is looking quite mild – up in the 30s.”

Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-4630 or at jsutor@summidaily.com.


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